ALTA Surveys: Certification Parties Within the Surveyor’s Certification
When a surveyor completes an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey, the Minimum Standards dictate that the surveyor presents a prescribed form of certification per Section 7. Within the body of that certification, the surveyor names designated parties related to the transaction therefore extending his/her liability to these parties by stating that the map or plat and the survey on which it is based were made in accordance to the most current Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys naming any negotiated Table A Items.
The surveyor is typically informed of the names of the parties to be included within the certification by the ordering client. These parties usually include the entity purchasing or refinancing the property, the lender and the title company. Less frequently but on occasion, law firms involved, the seller and others as negotiated with the client can be included. It is important that parties and entities listed in the certification be named accurately and correctly, i.e., “Bank of America, N.A.” rather than “Bank of America”, or “B of A”, etc. The surveyor should be given clear instruction how to list these parties.
There are times when an entity name to be included in the Surveyor’s Certification will include verbiage such as “and their successors and/or assigns”. It is most commonly included following the named Lender with the understanding that the mortgage may quickly be sold into a secondary market. The surveyor is liable to the Lender for as long as the loan is outstanding. If the original Lender were to sell the loan into the secondary market, the terms of the loan do not change so if “successors and assigns” was included in the Surveyor’s Certification, the surveyor is still liable to a lender for the remaining term of the loan. Many surveyors have concern when asked to extend their liability to “successors and/or assigns”, but if the verbiage can be limited to just the named lender and the aforementioned explained, they typically will agree.
There are occasions when surveyors are asked to name all the designated parties and then add the statement “and together with their respective successors and/or assigns”. By asking the surveyor for such a statement, the surveyor is basically being asked to extend their liability to everyone which may give them pause in agreeing to the verbiage.
Ordering parties and clients need to be aware that the call to include “successors and/or assigns” in the certification is at the surveyor’s discretion. It comes down to whether or not they are comfortable in extending their liability to an unnamed party. In some circumstances the surveyor may be limited in agreeing to such verbiage by their legal counsel or professional liability insurance provider which prevents them from doing so. It is advisable to alert the surveyor of the need to include “successors and/or assigns” if at all possible, during the quoting process to be sure the surveyor is comfortable in meeting this request.
Protecting Your Asset: When the Due Diligence is Done There's Still More to Do
With the purchase of a commercial property there comes the lengthy checklist of due diligence items that must be complete to ensure that the property meets the buyer’s requirements and doesn’t put them at risk down the road. Once all “the i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed” there is feeling of accomplishment and relief. The deal is done. But….is it really?
Ownership of the property now brings the responsibility of maintaining it and securing it for the safety of those who occupy it. What is the use of the property? Are the systems in place for that use safe and in compliance with industry standards? Are provisions being made to monitor and ensure a healthy environment? These questions are of particular importance when the subject property is being used for medical or manufacturing purposes.
NV5/Dade Moeller specializes in Occupational Safety and Industrial Hygiene as well as services related to Radiation Safety and Training. Servicing all 50 states they can provide reports for MOBs, hospitals, universities, manufacturing and processing facilities and more. Specific services include but are not limited to:
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- Radiological Safety Evaluations
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It is best to take a proactive approach to health and safety for your property and those who use it. NV5/Dade Moeller can provide critical data to do that. For more information contact NV5/Dade Moeller at 509-946-0410.
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